Meaning Of ‘How Do You Like Them Apples?’
1. This phrase is often used as a way to mock or tease someone after gaining some kind of victory over them. It’s similar to the expression “stick that in your pipe and smoke it!”
Example: Ron thought he was the fastest kid in school. He bragged about how nobody could outrun him. However, one of his classmates challenged him to a race and won. Afterwards, his classmate said: “Hey, Ron, how do you like them apples? It looks like you’re not the fastest after all.”
2. This saying is also used after someone receives surprising information.
Example: I told my friend that we wouldn’t be able to watch that new movie he wanted to see because tickets for it were sold out everywhere. To my surprise, he then told me: “Actually, I was able to snag two tickets just before they sold out. How about them apples?”
The Origin Of ‘How Do You Like Them Apples?’
When some people hear the phrase “how do you like them apples,” they might think of the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting. This movie stars Matt Damon who plays as the character Will Hunting, a mathematical genius working as a school janitor. There’s a point in the movie where he gets into a verbal fight with a rival who was trying to impress a girl. After this exchange, Will Hunting gets the girl’s phone number, and then later, in order to taunt his rival over this, he walks up to him and the following happens:
Hunting: “Do you like apples?”
*Hunting pulls out a piece of paper with the girl’s number written on it and shows it to him.*
Hunting: “Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?”
Okay, so why am I talking about this movie? Because when people hear this expression, they might think of this specific scene as being the source of this phrase. However, the idiom does not originate from this film. So where does it come from?
It was thought that this expression might have come from World War I. The word “apple” was a nickname for certain grenades and mortars that were used in trench warfare at the time. For instance, there was a 2 inch medium trench mortar that was nicknamed “toffee apple” because it looked like an apple on a stick. Evidently, however, this phrase does not originate from WWI because it dates back to an earlier time.
According to Early Sports and Pop Culture History Blog, this expression dates back to at least the year 1895. For example, it appears in the newspaper The Eagle, September 26, 1895:
“Bryan is the best cotton market in this section of the state and has received more cotton than any other town in this section. How do you like them apples?'”
See Also: An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
Here’s another apple related expression you’ve probably heard of before, but if not, well now you can learn about it.